World Football Injury Tracker: Week of Feb 25 Report with Hummels, Scholes, More
Another weekend of football action around Europe is upon us, with some teams hoping that a player or two will make a timely return from injury or illness to boost the strength of the starting XI.
As usual, we bring you a roundup of the latest recoveries or absences from the major players around Europe's top leagues. This will be updated as the weekend fixtures draw closer.
Today we have a German international who missed a vital game with illness, returning Premier League stars and more.
Mats Hummels, Borussia Dortmund
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Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels missed the DFB Pokal quarterfinal fixture against Bayern Munich on Wednesday, with his team suffering a 1-0 defeat in his absence.
Hummels was taken ill on the day of the match which he was due to start in (via SportPulse.net).
Dortmund's next match is in the Bundesliga against Hannover on Saturday; at present there is no indication whether or not Hummels will be fit to return to the team. Felipe Santana took his place against Bayern.
Paul Scholes, Manchester United
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Manchester United's experienced midfielder Paul Scholes has been unavailable for the past two weeks but has a chance of returning for this weekend's game against Norwich City.
Scholes has been out with a knee injury (via the Guardian) and missed games against Real Madrid, Reading and QPR.
United have just this one Premier League game to play before their second-leg tie against Real in the Champions League, which they hope Scholes will be available for.
Eric Abidal, Barcelona
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Having battled to recover from a liver transplant a year ago, Barcelona defender Eric Abidal was given the all-clear last week to resume his playing career (via FCBarcelona.com).
The defender has not yet made his return to the side since receiving the news, but with an all-important Champions League second leg to come in the near future, he could find himself back in the side in one of the La Liga matches beforehand.
Barcelona face Real Madrid on March 2 and 20th-placed Deportivo on March 9.
Jermain Defoe, Tottenham Hotspur
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Spurs striker Jermain Defoe has been out injured for three weeks after suffering ankle ligament damage against West Brom at the beginning of February (via BBC).
In his absence, Emanuel Adebayor has started three of Spurs' four matches but has failed to score or assist a goal.
Spurs face Arsenal on March 3 in the North London derby in their next Premier League game, and they will be anxious to have Defoe, who has scored 14 goals this season, back in time for that game.